UPDATE: Since I first published this post a few days ago, I’ve done a lot of digging and finally gotten the following answer from Taylor Southerland at Charlie’s Soap. Taylor has confirmed that this also applies to the powder soap.

“Up to 2007, yes, Wonder Wash, available in Canada, was Charlie’s Soap Laundry Liquid. Right after that time, JBR decided to sell Charlie’s Soap Laundry Liquid and thus split the Wonder Wash line off. Since then, the two have been unaffiliated. They have made their own product, the details of which we at Charlie’s Soap are not privy to.”

So there’s really no need to read the rest of this post now, unless you’re bored.

For the average person, this post will likely be a bore. But to those cloth diapering parents out there, I know you’re all wondering if the rumors are true. Is Wonder Wash the same as Charlie’s Soap or not?

Before our son was born, I stocked up on cloth diapers and did a heck of a lot of on-line research on how to wash them. I also spent a LOT of time reading reviews and cloth diapering forums about suitable detergents and finally settled on Charlie’s Soap.

I found one on-line distributor in Canada who was selling it for waaaaaaaaaaay more than anyone in the States. Note to self: Stop looking at US sites. The price difference brings me down.

Several months after my son was born, my supply of Charlie’s started to run out. A friend of mine was about to order some Wonder Wash from a distributor in Canada and asked if I wanted to go halvsies on the 18kg box. Her claim, along with that of MANY people on the internet, is that Wonder Wash is the same as Charlie’s. It’s just the name they use in Canada.

Well, the 18kg box is a good deal so I said sure.

Now, 2 years later, I’m nearing the end of my stash. And I don’t know, it could be all in my head, but I found the Wonder Wash a little different from Charlie’s. I think it washed about the same (GREAT – we wash ALL our laundry with the same detergent), but the smell was slightly different. Or is that just in my head?

Anyhow, I found myself back on-line last night, looking around for Charlie’s. I figured I’d go all out this time and get the 4 gallon bucket. There are some amazing prices on Amazon.com for it, but of course… they won’t ship it to Canada.

So I emailed James Sutherland at Charliesoap.com and asked him if Charlie’s was the same as Wonder Wash because I wanted to buy a large amount but couldn’t find anyone selling large amounts in Canada.

Mr. Southerland successfully avoided my question, but referred me to JBR Products Inc. in Milton, ON. And guess what. That’s the Wonder Wash distributor. (www.wonderwash.net)

Hmmm.

So I emailed JBR Products Inc., mentioned that James at Charlie’s had referred me and that I wanted to buy some Charlie’s Soap. Again, I asked if Charlie’s and Wonder Wash are the same product.

In response, I got an email from Vladimir, telling me to check out www.charliesoap.ca.  So I did. And guess what, it’s the same JBR Products Inc. but a different website and all packaging says Charlie’s Soap instead of Wonder Wash.

Prices and packaging sizes are slightly different (likely because of the US imperial and Canadian metric systems) but the prices are similar.

So now I’m REALLY confused.

  1. perhaps they ARE the same but the smart folks at JBR know what a huge following Charlie’s has so they stock boxes and containers with Charlie’s labels
  2. perhaps they’re NOT the same, which would explain why the box/container sizes are different. Wouldn’t it be a money saver for JBR to only have to stock a limited number of packaging vessels?

If you can enlighten me, please do. Perhaps you can also let me know why Charlie’s is so much more expensive here in Canada. Our dollar’s practically at par now. It’s a US product so there isn’t any duty. What the heck?